NEWARK — As a key component of its lauded education and community engagement programming, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) hosts a series of “side-by-side” concerts, featuring student musicians performing alongside the members of the professional orchestra, as part of the Orchestra’s Concerts for Young People (CYP) series. On Monday, Nov. 25, 76 students from Elizabeth High School Upper Academy will join the NJSO for a concert performance at Dunn Sports Center Elizabeth.
NJSO Education & Community Engagement Conductor Jeffrey Grogan will lead the concert, “Shooting for the Stars”—a program featuring galaxy-inspired music that invites young concertgoers to reach for their dreams. Family Series artist-in-residence Ben Steinfeld—co-founder and artistic director of the critically lauded Fiasco Theater—hosts. Steinfeld, who has delighted NJSO family audiences for seasons, brings his trademark humor and theatrics to the concert.
The student musicians will perform “Jupiter” from Holst’s The Planets. The program also features well-known music from Star Wars, Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra (featured in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Mozart’s Symphony No. 41. NJSO first violinist Darryl Kubian performs the theremin—an unusual electronic musical instrument not often seen or heard in the concert hall—on Star Trek Through the Years.
The November performance marks the ninth annual side-by-side concert the NJSO has held with Elizabeth High School Upper Academy. The high-school ensemble’s teachers are orchestra director Shakura Ismail—a graduate of the NJSO’s Greater Newark Youth Orchestra—and co-director of bands Wayne Dillon.
As many as 20,000 elementary- and middle-school students and teachers from across the Garden State annually enjoy the NJSO’s Concerts for Young People. These standards-based orchestral programs are specifically designed to spark the imagination and enhance student learning.
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